Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday Thoughts...

“I lounge on the grass, that’s all. So simple. Then I lie back until I am inside the cloud that is just above me but very high, and shaped like a fish. Or, perhaps not. Then I enter the place of not-thinking, not-remembering, not-wanting. When the blue jay cries out his riddle, in his carping voice, I return. But I go back, the threshold is always near. Over and back, over and back. Then I rise. Maybe I rub my face as though I have been asleep. But I have not been asleep. I have been, as I say, inside the cloud, or perhaps, the lily floating on the water. Then I go back to town, to my own house, my own life, which has now become brighter and simpler, somewhere I have never been before.” 

Mary Oliver 

It often seems difficult to describe what happens along the creative way, especially those delicious moments when you are far away and the work appears, the ideas flow, the whole thing shines and maybe sings, yet I think this is a one of those that goes close.

I like the description of being inside the cloud, shaped like a fish. Or not.

It is not easily pinned down, and it is not easily repeated. It is slippery and mercurial. If we could market the magic 3 steps, we would all be rich and famous.  But I really get the sense, the feeling of how it happens for Mary Oliver, how it sometimes takes places and how it feels as she goes thru it, and what it is like to come back to earth earth.

In a basic way I sometimes say when I am soaking in my right brain, I go far away, and then I re-surface, come up for air and look around me at the world again and realise wow, I have been away, whilst I have stayed sitting here.

Not a fish cloud, but one I could go for a wander in...


  1. I haven't read this piece by Mary Oliver before, how wonderful.

    More than ever, making my newest work is like being in a state of meditation. I feel that "in the clouds" feeling but also very much in a state of heightened awareness at the same time. I even notice the slowing of my breath.

    1. Hi Valerianna - what a wow moment to be so far away in the clouds, yet also hyper-aware. It is a fascinating process, and I think it changes somewhat each time, but it is a precious gift no matter how it reveals itself to us I think.

  2. How wonderful when someone figures out how to put into words the experience of the meditative periods that often precede creating/are so necessary to the creative process. And I like your description of realizing, "I have been away, whilst I have stayed sitting here" - another way of expressing Mary Oliver's sentiment.
    Here's to magical clouds & such...

    1. Hi Lisa - I agree so much! I love it when others have captured a sense of something or an experience and put into words that make it real somehow. As you say, here's to those clouds and those moments away...

  3. Beautifully expressed - both Mary's words and yours, Fiona!


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